Chess just might be the ultimate mind game. It’s a game of strategy, calculation, and competition that is a favorite of many of the world’s geniuses.

But, you don’t have to be a genius to play chess. You just have to have a desire to learn the rules and a willing partner.

Grabbing a partner and a chess board is the first step. Playing chess consistently is linked with boosting brain health and lowering risk of cognitive decline. Researchers consider chess to be “cognitively demanding.” Simply put, this means it takes a lot of brain power to play chess.

Older adults who play games like chess are boosting their brains and preventing cognitive decline. If you boost your mental activity with chess or other brain-stimulating games, some science suggests you can even reduce your risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease by 33%.

If you’ve never played chess before and you want to pick it up, don’t fret. It’s never too late to learn a new skill or game. In fact, learning a new skill, no matter what it is, also stimulates your brain and prevents cognitive decline.